Monday, August 23, 2010

Brewery Tour Series 2

Next stop in my reverse time order brewery review series is:

Lancaster Brewing Co.  May 2010

We were here one day before visiting Victory, which I reviewed in the previous post.  We stayed in Lancaster for our 5th anniversary.  I know, we're big spenders.  The hotel we stayed at was called Lancaster Arts, which is a converted tobacco warehouse really nicely done and with a cool bar (we thought the bartender fancied himself a mixologist, but more on that some other time).  The reason I mention the hotel is that we chose the "Brewmaster's Package" which came with beer and pint glasses in the room, a tour of Lancaster Brewing Co., and a gift card to their restaurant. 

We rushed from outlet shopping for our 4:00 tour, which I specifically scheduled so that we would have one of the brewers as guide vs. a restaurant manager.  Alas, they somehow didn't have us scheduled and so the restaurant manager gave us his best effort.  LBC is also in a converted tobacco warehouse and is one of the neater breweries I've seen in terms of architecture.  We grabbed a hefeweizen from the bar, which I thought was a bit weak in flavor, but refreshing enough to carry with us on the tour.  LBC is pretty small; the tour probably lasted only 15 minutes at most.  We did get to smell some of the hops they use, and see where they store their specialty malts; their basic two-row malted barley is stored in the large silo out front.  The most interesting part for me was hearing the history, both of the building--it's haunted--and of brewing in Lancaster; we got to see some old bottles from area breweries long gone.  Then we had dinner in the pub--which overlooks the brewing floor and equipment--and shared a sampler of every beer they had on tap that night, around 12 or so.  For dinner I had the wild boar and my wife the lamb burger with feta cheese.  I thought her burger was good, the boar was fun but pretty fatty and hard to manage.  I don't love LBC's brews, but the Amish Four Grain Pale Ale is decent and since that visit I've had their Rumspringa, a Golden Bock with local honey which isn't bad.  They mixed their Milk Stout and Strawberry Wheat and called it "Chocolate Covered Strawberry" which was kind of fun.  The waitress told us, "if you were here next week you could have had the Kolsch!"  Gee, thanks.

In short, it's a nice little brewery and the food, atmosphere, and beers aren't bad, but you may just want to have a couple at the bar and eat elsewhere, the restaurant at Lancaster Arts hotel looked great but we were only in town for the night. 

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